>>>The most sought-after resorts on the Algarve

The most sought-after resorts on the Algarve

See southern Portugal at its most exclusive: villas with private pool, Michelin-starred restaurants and terrace bars with views over the Atlantic.
F
or thousands of years, Cape St. Vincent was thought to be the end of the world. The lighthouse at the westernmost point of Europe guided sailing ships in search of a favourable wind. Now it’s still a guide for people wanting to explore the Algarve without coinciding with the nine million tourists who come here every year. The white beaches washed by turquoise seas along the temperamental coast of southern Portugal attract tourists mainly to Portimâo, Faro and Albufeira. But, as you can see from Sagres, the small fishing village near the lighthouse, there is a different Algarve far away from mass tourism.
You can find exclusive luxury accommodation far away from the crowds on Portugal's southern coast.
Photo: Vila Vita Parc Resort

Atlantic flavour

Ocean Restaurant is the star in the gastronomic crown of Vila Vita Parc Resort. Austrian Hans Neuner is executive chef at this two Michelin-starred establishment. His secret weapons are his use of local produce, impeccable service for 35 diners and a terrace with views over the gardens.

Golf is one of the reasons why the area is popular with tourists from less benign climates. The sun shines for an average of 300 days a year and temperatures don’t normally drop below 10ºC in winter or rise above 35ºC in summer. The Pine Cliffs golf course is one of the most original. The fairways run down through pine forests on a cliff over the Atlantic. The course has its own accommodation, belonging to The Luxury Collection by Sheraton. In 2016 the resort underwent renovation and opened the new Ocean Suites with one, two or three bedrooms, just a stone’s throw away from Falésia Beach in Albufeira.
Alvor, Falé, Benagil, Amado, Bordeira… The beaches are precisely one of the Algarve’s biggest attractions for their enormous expanses of sand and their beautiful cliffs, caves and rock formations. Pool and lounge lovers can choose between the pools at Vila Vita Parc Resort & Spa in Porches. Plus the ones in the four private villas, with access to a restricted area of beach. The resort, which belongs to Leading Hotels of the World, also has its own yacht for trips along the south coast of Portugal in complete comfort.
Chef Hans Neuner manages the team at Ocean Restaurant, which holds two Michelin stars.
The same chain also owns one of the most prestigious luxury five-star establishments in the area. Located in the Ria Formosa Natural Park, the Quinta do Lago resort offers amazing views over the river estuary and the chance to enjoy relaxing walks around its gardens and on the beach. It is reached by a walkway over the water.
Dieter Koschina's cuisine for the restaurant at the Vila Joya hotel combines creativity and technique.
For those wanting to stay in a hotel where amenities coexist alongside artistic value, Bela Vista Hotel & Spa, in Portimâo, is a mansion near the famous Praia da Rocha. Another option is Pousada Palacio de Estoi, in Faro. The restored and sumptuously decorated 18th-century building has a modern extension that enables them to combine the romanticism of bygone times with modern creature comforts. This selection of luxury accommodation options on the Algarve is rounded off with Vila Joya, in Albufeira. Gaze out at the Atlantic Ocean from its terrace, surrounded by gardens with palm trees, pines and bougainvillea. The Algarve is not the end of the world after all. But it can feel like it.

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